Vessel Ornament of Reclining Pipes Player

probably 400–375 BCE
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Overall: 5.1 cm (2 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

Guests were often invited to play instruments and sing during symposia.


This bronze banqueter figurine was one of six once adorning the rim of a large basin, now lost. Cast in molds with individualized details, most have grooves on their underside to attach to the basin. Minute traces of gilding remain on areas of clothing and skin (mostly visible only under magnification), suggesting that they may have been completely gilded. Two handles in the form of hippocampi, horses with serpentine tails, also belonged to the basin and are now displayed at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University. The basin may have been used to hold liquid for a banquet, or was perhaps funerary.

This bronze reclining figurine raises his head and blows into a set of pipes. The tips of the pipes are broken off. Some gilding remains on the mouth and chin. The figurine wears a himation over his body and has a bare chest. Two pillows prop up his left elbow. His hair falls over his forehead in square bangs.
Vessel Ornament of Reclining Pipes Player

Vessel Ornament of Reclining Pipes Player

probably 400–375 BCE


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